Nova Scotia shooting: gunman evaded Canada police for nearly 12 hours after killing at least 16

A confrontation with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police began on Saturday after a manhunt for the fugitive suspect. Several crime scenes and hours of escape later, the gunman was killed Sunday in a shootout with the police. According to a statement from SiRT, the Nova Scotia Serious Incident Response Team (SiRT) has resumed the investigation of the death.

Gabriel Wortman, 51, was identified as the suspect and his death was confirmed by RCMP Chief Superintendent Chris Leather.

The motive behind the shooting, one of the deadliest in Canada, is still under investigation, said Leather. Some victims, he said, “did not appear to have a relationship with the assailant’s shooter”.

The chaos began when the police were first called to a property at around 10:30 p.m. Saturday. “When the police arrived at the scene, the members located several victims inside and outside the home,” said Leather.

One of the people killed was Constable Heidi Stevenson, a two-year-old mother and 23-year-old RCMP veteran. Another police officer is in the hospital and receiving treatment for the non-fatal injuries he suffered during the incident, the RCMP said on Facebook.
Cst. Heidi Stevenson

The RCMP were taken to several crime scenes miles away, starting in Portapique and extending to Enfield, where the suspect was found, said Leather. Wortman is believed to be wearing part of what appeared to be an RCMP uniform and may have been driving a vehicle designed to resemble a police car, said Leather.

“The fact that this individual has a uniform and a police car at his disposal certainly proves that this is not a random act,” said Leather.

Police told the public on Twitter the shooter may have been wearing an RCMP uniform and was driving a silver Chevrolet Tracker which appeared to be a police vehicle, but which had a specific number – 28B11. They clarified that he was not employed by the RCMP.

The shooter was considered “armed and dangerous,” so the RCMP told people to stay inside. The suspect was finally found at a truck stop in Enfield between 11 a.m. and noon Sunday, about 12 hours after the first call to 911.

Police block highway in Enfield, Nova Scotia on Sunday, April 19, 2020. Canadian police arrested a suspect on Sunday in an investigation into an active shooter after declaring earlier that he may have driven a vehicle resembling a police car and wearing a police uniform.
Ontario truck driver Tom Nurani told CNN media partner CTV News that he was at a truck stop when he heard a staff member scream.

“She said,” Oh my God, lock the doors, he’s here! And I look out the window and I see RCMP vehicles and there are four or five uniforms with guns, “said Nurani.

Witness Glen Hines walked by and told CTV that he heard gunshots.

“All I could hear was gunfire and my wife, I thought I was going to call 911, because she was panicking, it scared her so much,” said Hines.

Politicians react to shooting

Stephen McNeil, Premier of Nova Scotia, called the shooting “one of the most senseless acts of violence in the history of our province”.

“I never imagined, when I went to bed last night, that I would wake up to the terrible news that an active shooter was on the loose in Nova Scotia,” said McNeil.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted “our hearts go out to all those affected by the shooting”, adding “we all keep in mind.”

“At the Portapique community, we all keep our thoughts. And on behalf of all Canadians, I want you to know that we are there for you – and we will be there for you in the days and weeks to come, “he said.

The president of the National Federation of the National Police, Brian Sauvé, declared that the FNP “works hard to ensure the support of all our members and their families”.

“We are there for them now and we will be there for them in the days and months to come as they go through this tragedy,” said Sauvé. “As Canadians, we are extremely fortunate that these incidents are not common.”

Canada’s Minister of Public Safety Bill Blair said Sunday was “a truly heartbreaking day in Canada.”

“Tragedies like today are horrible and should never happen,” said Blair. “I know that the people of Nova Scotia will come together to heal and mourn those who have been lost. All Canadians will be with them. “

Paula Newton reported from Ottawa and Amir Vera wrote from Atlanta. CNN’s Madeline Holcombe, Kristina Sgueglia, Laura Ly, Josh Campbell and Susannah Cullinane contributed to this report.

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